Jay March2011

Jay Frucci, President and Owner,
Furniture Consignment Gallery

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Boston's Finest Pre-Owned Contemporary Furniture

 

 

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Every morning, we go through a full loaf of cinnamon bread at our house for breakfast. I dunk slice after slice into the toaster, then butter them up for our three boys. That's our morning ritual.

 

Cade, my oldest, was hovering over my shoulder this morning making a claim on the next hot slice. At 15, he is growing faster than kudzu. As I handed over the toast, I took a step back and suddenly realized we'd crossed a milestone. Cade is now taller than me.

 

What struck me is that he'd grown right before my eyes but the change hadn't registered. I'm always busy juggling the day-to-day responsibilities of fatherhood and running a small business. But over time small changes every day really add up.

 

Later, at work, I realized something similar had happened at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Our Chestnut Hill store has evolved over the past few months to become the pre-eminent showroom for pre-owned contemporary furniture in or around Boston. How did that happen?

 

Consider the evidence. This week, we accepted for consignment two bold and curvaceous sofas by Rolf Benz, along with a glass coffee table and a sofa table. New, the set cost more than $13,000. Germany's Rolf Benz is a revered name in contemporary design, known for its quality craftsmanship and comfort. At FCG, the sofas are each priced at $999. Our consignor also brought us a set of sleek blue dining chairs also by Rolf Benz. New, each chair is $1,800. We're selling the set of four for $1,600.

 

 

Also in Chestnut Hill is a Ted Boerner sofa and armchair in white leather, originally purchased from the high-end contemporary store Design Within Reach. This week, the showroom is filled with the most sought-after designer names in contemporary furniture, including Hans Wegner and Roche Bobois.

 

Upscale contemporary furniture is extraordinarily expensive when bought new. The top manufacturers use genuine chrome, quality metals, lucites and premium grade leathers. But like the pre-owned market for traditional furniture, the discounts and deals are amazing when you buy at FCG. We don't waste your time with knock-offs and no-name brands. In Chestnut Hill, we've specialized in selecting the best in contemporary design.  

 

So we've grown at FCG, and we want to call your attention to the changes. Stop by the store on Route 9, westbound, in Newton. You'll find a breathtaking array of the highest quality contemporary furniture at amazing prices.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Moments to Memories

 

 

9T4pdzbTEMy grandmother's home smelled like fresh garlic roasting in olive oil. And she always had a pot of water bubbling on the stove ready to cook her homemade macaroni when we arrived for a feast. Never had I been so excited for one of her meals than in the spring of 2001. My son Cade was a toddler and he was just beginning to eat all kinds of new foods. In my family, Grandma's Italian cooking was a rite of passage, a kind of baptism by ground beef. Her homemade meatballs, the stuff of culinary legend, were on the menu that Easter Sunday. When I close my eyes, I can still see the vast spread of food on the table. There were two big bowls, each filled with homemade pasta and meat sauce. At one end of the table was a platter of eggplant Parmesan. At the other was a platter of braised lamb in a rich gravy. We whipped through grace and dug in with glee. Forks screeched against spoons as we wound big wads of spaghetti laden with sauce. So engrossed were we in our pasta paradise that no one was watching Cade - until he gurgled up a big, satisfied burp. We all turned towards the old wooden highchair in unison. There he sat with red sauce smeared across his face. Both of his hands were full of mashed meatball. He was rocking back and forth in excitement, eyes wide, stuffing his mouth as fast as he could with meatball. We all roared with laughter. img 4862Then, in the blink of an eye, that moment was gone. Cade is 15 now. Grandma has been gone for years. We miss her a lot. Her meatballs are still legendary. How quickly moments turn to memories. When my grandparents were first married, they counted their pennies carefully like most immigrants. Buying a big mahogany dining room set might have felt like irresponsible spending to a young couple. But four generations of family celebrated every holiday at that table. I'd argue that it was the best investment they ever made. Easter is April 5th, just two weeks away. Passover begins on Friday, April 3. So buy that big dining room set and make some family memories. You'll never regret it.Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

The Coconut Option

 

 

coconut clipart Coconut"Do I look like a Wellesley housewife to you?" he said with mild irritation.

 

Well, I thought, no. He looked like an overworked handy-man. He was wearing jeans, a ratty sweater, an unlaced pair of L.L. Bean boots and a cap advertising Miller High Life, a lowbrow swill.

 

But here we were standing in front of a stately mansion in that swanky town. I was firing questions at him about the high-quality furniture he was consigning, including a Baker Colonial Williamsburg dining room set, a Councill Craftsman server, a secretary by EJ Victor. And he was getting exasperated. "I don't know anything about furniture," he said.

 

Some customers are a "riddle wrapped in a mystery," to quote from Winston Churchill. There had to be a story here. There was.

 

After a wildly successful decade on Wall Street in the 1980s, he retired at the age of 36. The suburban life with wife and kids had no appeal for him. His stock options gave him the opportunity to exercise what he called "the coconut option."

 

He made a life for himself alone in the Florida Keys, sailing, fishing and toasting the sunset with a beer from his front porch. For company, he had a dog.

 

"I get them from the pound when they only have a year or two left of life in them," he said. "Then, I spoil the hell out of them." He tossed a tennis ball across the lawn. The old mutt leaped up j961oyfully and took off like an Olympic sprinter.

 

I had to ask. "How does a single guy who couldn't care less about furniture end up with a big house filled with the best of it?"

 

Turns out, his dad worked for the phone company. His mom was a housewife. With six kids, they had enough for the essentials - but no luxuries. When he made his fortune, he bought them a big house, then took his mom furniture shopping. "That was fun," he said. 

 

Now, twenty-five years later, his parents are moving into an assisted-living facility. The house has to go. Ditto the furniture. He wasn't taking so much as a lamp back to the Keys. He likes the simple life. "You gotta know what makes you happy, man," he said.

 

Come to FCG in Chestnut Hill and check out his furniture. You might find just the piece to make your mom happy. Or your wife. Or your sister. Or maybe even yourself. Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Crazy for Color

 

 

The Internet was on fire last week. A Scottish bride posted a photo of the dress her mother wore to her wedding and asked a simple question: what color is this? Within hours, tens of millions of people all over the world were hotly debating. Everyone but the Pope had an opinion.

 

What in color-nation was going on? IMG 4625

 

The Great Dress Debate illustrates some important truths. Everyone sees color differently. Some people don't see color at all. Then there are those who see greater variety and depth in color than the average Joe. Which explains a lot about the mystery of interior design.

 

Brian, Hanover's new assistant store manager, has a gifted eye for color. He proved it this week when the moving guys dumped a newly consigned salmon-colored sectional in his showroom. "Damn," I thought as I passed it by, "that is one ugly sofa."

 

In a few moments of inspiration, though, Brian whipped together a furniture vignette that included the sectional, a pair of mousy brown chairs and a rug in a bold geometric pattern. Suddenly, the ugly sectional looked stylish and modern. The brown chair was transformed into a crisp accent piece.

 

Suddenly, I wanted to take it home. What the heck? "Sometimes," Brian explained, "ugly plus ugly equals awesome." (Men, do not try this at home. This formula does not apply to your closet.)

  

Color is complex - and necessary - in successful design. Most of us struggle with it. That's why shopping for furniture and home accents is stressful. Mistakes are common but avoidable if you shop at FCG.

 

Some tips: shop in a showroom, not online. (Colors can be distorted by your computer.) Take fabric samples so that you can how see the color interacts with the light in your home. We are happy to loan a cushion for a day or so.

 

Bring color samples or photos of your walls, rugs and upholstered pieces when shopping. Our design-savvy associates will happily help coordinate a palette that will work in your home.

 

If you are still panic-stricken with color phobia, have no fear. Diana, my wife and a certified ASID interior designer, is offering a four-week series of evening classes at our showroom in Plymouth. Her color class is every student's favorite. Sign up now!

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

A Re-Emergence

 

 

"We just got a bigger place!"

 

They were young, excited and expecting a new addition to their family any day. The couple burst into the showroom earlier this week and, after announcing their big news, they hurried off in opposite directions to shop.

 

Anticipating long nights with a fussy newborn, the father-to-be quickly found his favorite piece: a $1,710 leather loveseat sleeper by Hancock & Moore. As a father of three, I had to stifle the urge to educate the poor guy. Just because you buy a sleeper doesn't mean you're going to get any sleep after the baby arrives.  

 

Meanwhile, on another floor, his wife had fallen in love with the Princess Bed, a fantastically frou-frou structure decked out in acres of pink and yellow. 0uimg 0992copy

 

"I think it's a girl," she confided shyly, "but we don't really know..."

 

I quickly steered her towards more gender-neutral baby furniture. Turning the Princess Bed into a rocket ship or racecar if a little lad showed up would be a major challenge for a sleep-deprived dad.

 

After weeks of hibernation, shoppers are starting to emerge from their winter dens. And with them come the challenges of helping them navigate the turning points in life. I've missed that.

 

In Chestnut Hill, I was happy to see a longtime customer looking at a dining table of inlaid mahogany and eight leather chairs. Downsizing from a grand suburban colonial, she was scouting out items for a new condo overlooking Boston Harbor.

 

"Dining room seating for eight? In a condo?" I asked gently.

 

"Oh," she laughed. "I keep forgetting we're downsizing! And that means smaller!"

 

Finally, a normal week, I thought. Customers young and old are starting to trickle back into our stores. I'm happy to see familiar faces - and new ones. We've got showrooms well stocked with furniture for all kinds of fresh starts. The sun is shining. The snow is melting. Spring will be here soon.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Deciding Factors

 

 

"What do you think?" the young husband asked tentatively as he and his wife stood side-by-side studying a pair of marble-top chests. "I like them," she answered, hesitantly. "What do you think?"

 

"I think I like them," he answered carefully.bridal 20clip 20art RTdpqbGT9

 

"Are you sure?" she asked. "I do like them, but you don't sound so sure."

 

Newlyweds. Cute but frustrating. After a few minutes of patiently watching them lob the same question back and forth, I politely excused myself and left them alone in their tar pit of indecision. A few minutes later, they tracked me down. "She likes them!" the husband beamed. "But I'm not sure about him," she chimed in. "So we're going to go home and think about it."

 

Life offers an endless series of decisions. Colonial or Cape? Cat or dog? Save or spend? Negotiating the tar pit as a couple definitely is a skill you've got to master once you tie the knot.

 

Here at FCG, we get to witness those negotiations every day. As the indecisive couple shuffled out the door, another couple barreled into the showroom. "Upstairs," she commanded as her husband followed at her heels. Clearly, there were kids in the car and time was limited.

 

"This one," she said, pointing to a curio cabinet.

 

"Will it fit?" he asked. "Yes," she said decisively. Within minutes, they had paid, loaded the new piece into the back of the SUV, and roared out of the parking lot.

 

There's only one thing I know for sure. When you visit our three stores, you're going to find lots and lots of choices. Our showrooms are jammed with an ever-changing variety of beautiful, high-quality pieces of furniture at great prices. So your skill in decision-making is going to get a workout. You might want to practice. Or bring a coin to flip.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Sitting on Milk Crates

 

 

4 1 milk crateMy first apartment in Lexington, Kentucky was decorated in frat-boy style. The coffee table was a single milk crate. The television sat on two crates. My girlfriend, soon to become my wife, spent most of her time studying to be an interior designer and the rest frustrated over my barren apartment. Our dog's incessant barking eventually got me thrown out of the building. When I moved, I took those milk crates with me. Hey, quality, comfort and price! 

 

I was reminded of those penny-pinching post-college days this week when I got a call from a friend. His daughters had destroyed their dining room table with arts-and-crafts projects and he was in the market for a replacement.

 

"Nothing fancy," he said. "We're used to the junky stuff." In fact, he added, he didn't really want something from our store. What he was really looking for was a consignment reject. In other words, he wanted a table so dented, dinged and scratched that we wouldn't put it in our showrooms.  

 

"Buddy," I said. "You've got to upgrade." I invited him to visit our showroom to check out our high quality - and reasonably priced - dining room tables.

 

This incident got me thinking. Milk crates and plywood are fine furnishings when you're just starting out in life. But there comes a time when you have to put down the glue gun. My friend and his wife have good jobs. The problem is, they'd gotten so used to making do that it had become a way of life.

 

We see people like my friend in our stores every day. I try to share my philosophy with them. Your home is your biggest asset. Furnishing it with quality pieces adds warmth and energy to your home. So toss out the plywood and stop by Furniture Consignment Gallery. We'll help you find the grownup furniture you deserve. Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

When the Time Comes to Make A Change

 

 

His old maple bat stood in the corner obase ball glove brown color l 654f the room. On a nearby bookshelf were his glove and baseball cap. The boy's clothes hung, cleaned, pressed and ready to wear in the closet. The room was meticulously maintained and chillingly quiet.

 

For more than two decades, his mother has grieved the loss of her beloved son. She couldn't bear to change a single thing in his bedroom. Then, a few weeks ago, she decided it was time. She and her husband, now in their sixties, needed to create a guest room for visiting family members. That's what brought her to FCG.

 

Diana, an ASID certified interior designer, would later say that the renovation would become one of the greatest challenges of her career. That wasn't because of the complexity of the design but rather the intensity of emotions - her client's and her own.

 

Every time before entering the room, Diana would pause. "It looked just like yours when you were growing up," she told me. "Or our three boys' rooms now." Which is to say that it looked like any boy's room in America: a twin maple bed, trophies, sports equipment and photos of siblings, Mom and Dad. For Diana, it was a reminder that life is fragile.

 

With the couple's permission, Diana injected new life into the silent room. She outfitted both windows with bright cornice boards and gave the walls a coat of fresh paint. She unrolled a Persian rug. Then, our moving guys brought in the furniture: a four-poster rice-carved bed, a mahogany dresser and a secretary desk. New bedding and a flock of pillows completed the cozy scene.

 

When she presented the fully decorated room to the couple, the mother had to fight to catch her breath. Then, marveling at the change, she said slowly, "A new room for the new year." Later, she thanked Diana. "It's hard to let go of the past," she admitted. "You made it easier."

 

We hope that you'll come to FCG for all your redecorating projects in this new year, 2015. We'll listen, we'll understand and we'll help.
Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

The Last Gift of Christmas

 

 

Our postman staggered across the lawn under the weight of the package. He dumped it on the doorstep, rang the bell, and dashed back to his truck. Inside, as the bell chimed, the dog went wild. present

 

So did my imagination. A box! Just in time for Christmas! I could hardly contain my excitement - and neither could my three boys - as we hauled it inside and considered the possibilities.

 

Collin, my middle son, said out loud what we were all secretly hoping. "Maybe it's a giant flat screen TV!"

 

Instantly, I envisioned ripping the old, obsolete clunker off the shelf and installing our new, imaginary TV. Then, nirvana. We'd enjoy Kentucky basketball games on the big screen. Since our team is ranked #1, we'd watch the March Madness championship game in HD.

 

The Patriots would probably go to the Super Bowl, and we'd have a big party. The Kentucky Derby on the big screen - amazing! Oh, the fun we'd have. Best Christmas ever, we were thinking as we hovered excitedly over the unopened package.

 

Then, the boys got busy, tearing it open. Styrofoam popcorn exploded all over the foyer. Even the dog got into the action, nipping and gnawing at the cardboard. I cut through layers and layers of bubble wrap.

 

The moment of truth was upon us. I reached into the plastic and pulled out ... two large framed prints of horses. The boys and I sat back in stunned silence, our dreams dashed. One horse gazed at us soulfully with a mouth full of hay. The other horse struck a noble pose, staring off into the distance.

 

Turns out, one of my wife's aunt was downsizing and moving to a smaller home. She decided to surprise her niece by shipping her two beloved antique prints. "So thoughtful!" Diana exclaimed after she heard the commotion and hurried to the foyer.

 

Well, that's the holidays for you. Even those of us old enough to know better sometimes believe in Santa. But, to quote the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want.

 

So, if you got a couple of horse prints this year for Christmas or Hanukkah, I can recommend the perfect solution: FCG. We may be able to find a happy buyer for your unwanted items - and in our showrooms you just might find and get what you need.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Dad - We Have a Problem

 

 

"disappointed cowboyDad," Robbie pulled me aside and confided in a low, somber tone. "We have a problem."

 

Earlier, he had spied some wrapped presents tucked under the tree. The half-hidden stash was an irresistible lure for a six-year-old boy. With only twelve more shopping days left until Christmas, he knew he had to schedule some urgent reconnaissance.

 

This was a job that required absolute secrecy without any interference from his two older brothers or, even worse, Mom. His mission: to determine whether he'd get his fair share of loot for Christmas.

 

First, he made sure the rest of the family was busy - and not in the living room. Then, he crawled under the tree. Once he reached the target, he weighed and measured the presents from every angle. He undertook his inspection with the precision of a diamond dealer. He probably used a loupe.

 

The data, once analyzed, confirmed his worst fears. He had one present under the tree. His brothers each had three. So he filed a grievance: "It's not fair." But, he assured me diplomatically, we still had time to fix the situation.

 

When it comes to Christmas, I'm convinced that every kid on the planet is born with an internal abacus. When they're young, they're thrilled just to unwrap a box. Soon, they start keeping count of the gifts. Every child has to have precisely the same number as his or her siblings - or you're risking a riot.

 

When they're teenagers, they develop a sophisticated sense of value and style that shifts daily, which creates a gift-giving nightmare. Two parkas, both equally warm. North Face or L.L. Bean? Take it from me, one of those is going to be a big mistake. Tears will ensue. We're not quite there yet at our house but I dread the day.  

 

Admit it. All of us have a little kid inside secretly checking out everyone else's gifts. So if you're racing around trying to even out the ratio, you'll find help at FCG.

 

Yesterday, a harried shopper dashed into our showroom in Hanover. "Something for my daughter," he gasped. "All out of ideas!" Minutes later, he tore out of the store with a generous gift card, his arms raised in triumph. "I'm done!" he roared happily. "Done, done, done!"

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!
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